Eastpointe residents vote in favor of library millage

By: Kristyne E. Demske, Bria Brown, Kayla Dimick | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 11, 2016

 Eastpointe residents passed a property tax increase that will raise an estimated $441,000 for the library in 2017.

Eastpointe residents passed a property tax increase that will raise an estimated $441,000 for the library in 2017.

Photo by Bria Brown

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EASTPOINTE — Winning with more than 60 percent of the vote, Eastpointe residents passed the Eastpointe library millage at the polls Nov. 8.

The Eastpointe Memorial Library had proposed a property tax increase of $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value for the next five years beginning in 2017, according to the ballot language.

The millage will raise an estimated amount of $441,077 for the library in 2017. It will provide funds for operation and maintenance of the library.

The vote was 8,964 in favor of the millage and 5,112 against.

Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane was happy about the result.

“I credit the library board for giving good insight and direction over there, and the programs, and our director and staff. We’re pleased and happy to provide service to the community,” said Duchane.

County Commissioner District 3
At the county level, incumbent Democrat Veronica Klinefelt will keep her District 3 seat on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners for a third term after bringing in more than 67 percent of the vote, or 19,704 votes, compared to Republican challenger Ryan Hurd’s 9,573 votes, which equaled 32 percent.

“Obviously, I am appreciative of the support that the voters have given me, and I’m going to go back up to the county and continue to scrutinize the budget and try to provide the services that the residents expect while not spending too much money in the process,” Klinefelt said.

Going into her third term at the county level, she said she thinks her experience in local government will continue to serve her well.

“I think it’s very helpful having served at the local level, at the city level. I feel like I have a better understanding of the decisions that are made at the county level and how they impact the city,” said the former Eastpointe City Council member.

County Commissioner District 11
Democratic incumbent Kathy Tocco was re-elected to the District 11 seat with more than 63 percent of the vote. Tocco received 16,258 votes, while Republican challenger Mark Henry received 9,449 votes, which was slightly less than 37 percent.

State House of Representatives District 18
For the District 18 seat of the state House of Representatives being vacated by Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, who is term-limited, Democrat Kevin Hertel beat Republican Renata Polonaise with 63 percent of the vote, or 29,245 votes, to Polonaise’s 16,952 votes, which was 36 percent of the total.

Hertel said he felt “incredibly honored” by the support and looks forward to serving his constituents well while working with his fellow lawmakers.

“I think it’s very clear by the results we saw last night that there’s a divide here in Michigan and we have a lot of work to do to get things done to benefit people,” he said while driving to Lansing Nov. 9 for orientation.

Hertel said his father, Curtis Hertel Sr., served as a representative for the east side of Detroit in the 1980s and 1990s and was one of the only co-speakers of the House from 1994 to 1996 when the parties were evenly split.

“What I learned from that is you have to work together to get things done,” Hertel said. “The partisan bickering has to end. We have to work together, and that’s what everybody who was elected yesterday was elected to do — work together to get things done.”

He said he is humbled by the support he received and grateful to have learned the lessons he did from his father, who died earlier this year.

“With everything that he taught me in the years he served, and even after that, he left me with all the knowledge I needed to know to effectively serve,” he said.

State House of Representatives District 22
Three candidates ran for one two-year term to represent District 22 in the state House of Representatives. Democratic incumbent John Chirkun won with more than 60 percent of the vote, gathering 21,482 votes from residents in Roseville and Warren. Republican Jeff Bonnell received 12,337 votes, and U.S. Taxpayers candidate Les Townsend received 1,779 votes.

A state representative for Roseville and Warren, Chirkun spent 13 years on the Roseville City Council, including the last six years as mayor.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the House next year. I want to try to fully fund schools, I want to get some more revenue sharing for the cities, and I’m really confident we can do that this time so we can help public safety in the cities of Warren and Roseville,” said Chirkun.

“I’d like to work with the colleges to promote more jobs. I’d like to see businesses get tax credits if they hire people from Michigan, instead of out of state. That’s the main things on my agenda,” Chirkun said. 

Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
On Election Day, voters in four counties weighed in on a transportation millage proposal by the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan, and they voted to strike down the plan.

In Eastpointe, the authority gained 15,828 votes overall. 1,455 absentee voters and 5,490 Election Day voters circled “yes” on the ballot, while 2,060 absentee voters and 5,066 voters at the polls opposed the proposal.  

Roseville had 20,737 votes overall, with 1,924 absentee and 6,284 Election Day votes to approve the transit proposal. However, 2,637 absentee and 7,010 Election Day voters said no on their ballots.

The proposal aimed to add high-speed transportation to Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties. The 1.2-mill property tax assessment would have raised approximately $3 billion over 20 years and combined with $1.7 billion in federal and state matching funds to create rapid bus and rail lines and to cover operational costs.

RTA officials said that the millage would have cost about $95 per year for the average southeast Michigan homeowner.

The proposed plan would have created a wide-ranging regional public transportation network to be rolled out over the next 20 years, although the majority of the system would have been implemented within the first five years, RTA officials said previously.

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